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Sunday, July 16, 2017


Delightful and beautifully illustrated tale is written in rhyme, which is very easy on children’s ears. (Review by Beverley Millar)

The Wild Fluffalump, A Bedtime story is a delightful tale about a baby elephant that falls asleep one night under a Cotton Wool Tree, where Leopard’s small child was playing. While bouncing, and leaping in the tree, he knocks the seeds down and they create a snowstorm of fluff. The baby elephant wakes up looking like a large fluffy white ball.

The story follows him as he travels the African savannah and encounters various African animals, including a group of meerkats, a buffalo, an eagle, lions, hyenas, giraffe and many more. All the animals poke, prod, push and judge him as they try and work out what animal he is. The crocodile then decided to take a small little bite which made the Fluffalump trumpet. An Elephant hears this and picks up Fluffalump, takes him to the river and washes all the cotton wool off. Fluffalump then realises he is Elephant’s child.

The story is written in rhyme, which is very easy on children’s ears. It also offers the opportunity for parents to initiate discussions about the various animals thereby passing on important information.  The overall message given is that no-one should judge others by appearance alone.

The Wild Fluffalump was written by Bruce Hobson using the pen name Mwenye Hadithi (meaning ‘story teller’ in Swahili). It is beautifully illustrated by Adrienne Kennaway.

Hobson was born in Nairobi, and grew up in a house with a garden that was regularly visited by wild animals which included gazelles, porcupines, warthogs, and a hippopotamus that got stuck in the garden gate. He went to Rugby School in England and studied foreign literature and London University. All of this, and the traditional oral African stories, inspired him to write stories from Africa.

Kennaway spent most of her formative years in Kenya where she became interested in wildlife. She studied at Ealing Art College and L’Academie Bella Arte in Rome. She has illustrated over 30 children’s books. Her vivid watercolour illustrations for Hadithi’s Crafty Chameleon won her the CLIP Kate Greenaway Medal in 1987. Her illustrations in The Wild Fluffalump capture the colours and atmosphere of the African plains perfectly. And her animals are filled with character and charm. They are most endearing and are sure to appeal to young readers.

The Wild Fluffalump is published by Jacana Media and is also available in Afrikaans, IsiXhosa and isiZulu. ISBN 978-1-4314-2385-9. Recommended Retail price R120. – Beverley Millar